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Active and passive directional acoustic radiating
8553894 Active and passive directional acoustic radiating
Patent Drawings:

Inventor: Berardi, et al.
Date Issued: October 8, 2013
Application:
Filed:
Inventors:
Assignee:
Primary Examiner: Nguyen; Tuan D
Assistant Examiner:
Attorney Or Agent:
U.S. Class: 381/17; 381/111; 381/306
Field Of Search: 381/17; 381/111; 381/116; 381/117; 381/182; 381/337; 381/338; 381/339; 381/340; 381/388; 381/306
International Class: H04R 5/00; H04R 3/00
U.S Patent Documents:
Foreign Patent Documents: 0608937; 0624045; 1185094; 1487233; 1527801; 1577880; 1921890; 2099238; 2104375; 1359616; 2653630; 631799; 2432213; 2007037058; 9611558; 9820659; 9851122; 2004075601; 2005/104655; 2006/130115; 2007007083; 2007/031703; 2007/049075; 2007/052185; 2009105313; 2009134591
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Holland, K. R., et al., A Low Cost End-Fire Acoustic Radiator, Institute of Sound and Vibration Research, University of Southampton, Southampton S095NH, UK, J. Audio Eng. Soc., vol. 39, No. 7/8, Jul./Aug. 1991, pp. 540-550. cited by applicant.
Reams, et al., The Karlson-Hypex Bass Enclosure, AES, An Audio Engineering Society Preprint, presented at the 57th Convention, May 10-13, 1977, Los Angeles, CA. cited by applicant.
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Korn, T.S., A Corner Loudspeaker with Coaxial Acoustical Line, Journal of the Audio Engineering Society, vol. 5, No. 3, Jul. 1957, pp. 138-141. cited by applicant.
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Shulman, Yuri, Reducing Off-Axis Comb Filter Effects in Highly Directional Microphones, Audio Engineering Society, Presented at the 81st Convention, Los Angeles, CA, Nov. 12-16 1986. cited by applicant.
Purolator Acoustic Porous Metals, Acoustic Media for Aviation Applications, Aerospace Acoustic Materials, Acoustic Media for Helicopters, pp. 1-4, http://www.purolator-facet.com/acoustic.htm, May 1, 2008. cited by applicant.
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www.reviews.cnet.com, Jul. 23, 2004, Creative Travel sound. cited by applicant.
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Steve Guttenberg, "Altec Lansing InMotion", Internet Citation (online) Jun. 10, 2004 (downloaded Nov. 11, 2006) URL: http://reviews .cnet.com/4505-7869 7-30790793.html. cited by applicant.
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Van Der Wal, Menno, et al.; "Design of Logarithmically Spaced Constant-Directivity Transducer Arrays". J. Audio Eng. Soc., Vol. 44, No. 6, Jun. 1996. pp. 497-507. cited by applicant.
Ward, Darren B., et al.; "Theory and Design of Broadband Sensor Arrays with Frequency Invariant Far-field Beam Patterns". J. Acounstic Soc. Am. 97 (2), Feb. 1995. pp. 1023-1034. cited by applicant.
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Rubinson Kalman, Music in the Round #4, Stereophile, Published Mar. 2004; Retrieved May 13, 2009 from http://www.stereophile.com/musicintheround/304round/. cited by applicant.
Silva Robert, Surround Sound--What You Need to Know, The History and Basics of Surround Sound, Retrieved May 13, 2009 from http://hometheater.about.com/od/beforeyoubuy/a/surroundsound.htm. cited by applicant.
Linkwitz Siegfried, Surround Sound, Linkwitz Lab, Accurate Reproduction and Recording of Auditory Scenes, Revised Publication Jan. 15, 2009. Retreived May 13, 2009 from http://www.linkwitzlab.com/surround.sub.--system.htm. cited by applicant.
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Abstract: An three-way audio system that uses directional arrays for radiating mid-frequency acoustic energy and passive directional devices to radiate the high frequencies. the system includes a left channel, a right channel, and a center channel. A crossover network separates the left channel and the right channel into low frequency content, midrange frequency content, and high frequency content. An omnidirectional acoustical device radiates acoustic energy corresponding to the low frequency content of the combined left channel, right channel and center channel. A first directional array, comprising signal processing circuitry and more than one acoustic driver, radiates acoustic energy corresponding to the midrange content of one of the left channel and right channel signal so that more acoustic energy corresponding to the midrange content of one of the left channel signal and the right channel signal is radiated laterally than in other directions. A first passive directional device, radiates acoustic energy corresponding to the high frequency content of the one of the left channel and right channel signal so that more acoustic energy corresponding to the high frequency content of the one of the left channel signal and the right channel signal is radiated laterally than in other directions.
Claim: What is claimed is:

1. An audio system comprising: a crossover network for separating a left channel, a right channel, and a center channel into low frequency content, midrange frequencycontent, and high frequency content; an omnidirectional acoustical device for radiating acoustic energy corresponding to the low frequency content of a combined left channel, right channel, and center channel; a first directional array, comprisingsignal processing circuitry and more than one acoustic driver, for radiating acoustic energy corresponding to the midrange content of one of the left channel and right channel signal so that more acoustic energy corresponding to the midrange content ofone of the left channel signal and the right channel signal is radiated laterally than in other directions; and a first passive directional device, for radiating acoustic energy corresponding to the high frequency content of the one of the left channeland right channel signal so that more acoustic energy corresponding to the high frequency content of the one of the left channel signal and the right channel signal is radiated laterally than in other directions.

2. The audio system of claim 1, further comprising: a second directional array for radiating acoustic energy, comprising signal processing circuitry and more than one acoustic driver for radiating acoustic energy corresponding to the midrangecontent of the other of the left channel and right channel so that more acoustic energy corresponding to high frequency content of the other of the left channel and right channel signal is radiated laterally than in other directions; and a secondpassive directional device, for radiating acoustic energy corresponding to the high frequency content of the other of the left channel and right channel so that more acoustic energy corresponding to high frequency content of the other of the left channeland right channel signal is radiated laterally than in other directions.

3. The audio system of claim 2, wherein the first directional array, the second directional array, the first passive directional device and the second passive directional device are mounted in a common enclosure.

4. The audio system of claim 3, wherein the common enclosure is a television cabinet.

5. The audio system of claim 2, wherein the first directional array and the second directional array comprise at least one common acoustic driver.

6. The audio system of claim 1, further comprising a third directional array for radiating acoustic energy, comprising signal processing circuitry and more than one acoustic driver for radiating acoustic energy corresponding to the midrangecontent of the center channel so that more acoustic energy corresponding to the center channel signal is radiated in a direction substantially orthogonal to the direction of greater radiation of the first directional array and the direction of greaterradiation of the second directional array.

7. The audio system of claim 6, further comprising a non-directional high frequency acoustical device for radiating the high frequency content of the center channel.

8. The audio system of claim 7, wherein the non-directional high frequency device and the third directional array are positioned in a television on vertically opposite sides of a television screen.

9. The audio system of claim 6, wherein at least two of the first directional array, the second directional array, and the third directional array include at least one acoustic driver in common.

10. The audio system of claim 6, wherein the direction substantially orthogonal to the direction of greater radiation of the first directional array and the direction of greater radiation of the second directional array is substantially upward.

11. The audio system of claim 6, wherein the direction substantially orthogonal to the direction of greater radiation of the first directional array and the direction of greater radiation of the second directional array is substantially towardan intended listening area.

12. The audio system of claim 1, wherein the omnidirectional device comprises a waveguide.

13. The audio system of claim 12, wherein the waveguide is mounted in a television cabinet.

14. The audio system of claim 12, wherein at least two of the first directional array, the second directional array, and the third directional array include more than one acoustic driver in common.

15. The audio system of claim 14, wherein the first directional array, the second directional array, and the third directional array include more than one acoustic driver in common.

16. The audio system of claim 1, mounted in a television cabinet.

17. The audio system of claim 16, wherein the omnidirectional acoustical device, the first directional array, the second directional array, the third directional array, the first passive directional device, and the second passive directionaldevice each have an exit through which acoustic energy is radiated to the environment, wherein none of the exits is in a front face of the television cabinet.

18. The audio system of claim 1, wherein the first passive directional device comprises: a slotted pipe type passive directional acoustic device comprising an acoustic driver, acoustically coupled to a pipe to radiate acoustic energy into thepipe, the pipe comprising an elongated opening along at least a portion of the length of the pipe; and acoustically resistive material in the opening through which pressure waves are radiated to the environment, the pressure waves characterized by avolume velocity, the pipe, the opening, and the acoustically resistive material configured so that the volume velocity is substantially constant along the length of the pipe.

19. A method for operating an audio system comprising: radiating omnidirectionally acoustic energy corresponding to the low frequency content of a combined left channel, right channel, and center channel; radiating directionally, from a firstdirectional array comprising signal processing circuitry and more than one acoustic driver, acoustic energy corresponding to the midrange content of the left channel so that more acoustic energy corresponding to the left channel signal is radiatedleftwardly than in other directions; radiating directionally, from a second directional array comprising signal processing circuitry and more than one acoustic driver, acoustic energy corresponding to the midrange content of the right channel so thatmore acoustic energy corresponding to the right channel signal is radiated rightwardly than in other directions; radiating directionally, from a third directional array comprising signal processing circuitry and more than one acoustic driver, acousticenergy corresponding to the midrange content of the center channel so that more acoustic energy corresponding to the center channel signal is radiated in a direction substantially orthogonal to the direction of greater radiation of the first directionalarray and the direction of greater radiation of the second directional array; radiating directionally, from a first passive directional device, acoustic energy corresponding to the high frequency content of the left channel so that more acoustic energyis radiated leftwardly than other directions; and radiating directionally, from a second passive directional device, acoustic energy corresponding to the high frequency content of the right channel so that more acoustic energy is radiated rightwardlythan other directions.

20. The method of claim 19, further comprising radiating non-directionally the high the high frequency content of the center channel.

21. The method of claim 20, wherein radiating non-directionally the high frequency content of the center channel comprises radiating from a vertically opposite side of a television screen from the radiating directionally of the midrange contentof the center channel.

22. The method of claim 19, wherein the radiating omnidirectionally acoustic energy corresponding to the low frequency content of the combined left channel, right channel, and center channel comprises radiating from a waveguide.

23. The method of claim 22, wherein the radiating omnidirectionally comprises radiating from a waveguide mounted in a television cabinet.

24. The method of claim 19, wherein the directionally radiating in a direction substantially orthogonal to the direction of greater radiation of the first directional array and the direction of greater radiation of the second directional arraycomprises radiating substantially upward.

25. The method of claim 19, wherein the directionally radiating in a direction substantially orthogonal to the direction of greater radiation of the first directional array and the direction of greater radiation of the second directional arraycomprises radiating substantially toward an intended listening area.

26. The method of claim 19, wherein the radiating directionally from a first directional array, the radiating directionally from a second directional array, the radiating directionally from a third directional array, the radiating directionallyfrom a first passive directional device and the radiating directionally from a second passive directional device comprise radiating from a television cabinet.

27. The method of claim 19, wherein the radiating directionally from a first directional array, the radiating directionally from a second directional array, the radiating directionally from a third directional array, the radiating directionallyfrom a first passive directional device and the radiating directionally from a second passive directional device comprise radiating from one of a side, a bottom, or a top of a television cabinet.
Description: BACKGROUND

This specification describes an audio system for a television employing directional audio devices.

SUMMARY

In one aspect an audio system includes at least a left channel, a right channel, and a center channel. The audio system includes a crossover network for separating the left channel, the right channel, and the center channel into low frequencycontent, midrange frequency content, and high frequency content; an omnidirectional acoustical device for radiating acoustic energy corresponding to the low frequency content of the combined left channel, right channel, and center channel; a firstdirectional array comprising signal processing circuitry and more than one acoustic driver, for radiating acoustic energy corresponding to the midrange content of one of the left channel and right channel signal so that more acoustic energy correspondingto the midrange content of one of the left channel signal and the right channel signal is radiated laterally than in other directions; and a first passive directional device, for radiating acoustic energy corresponding to the high frequency content ofthe one of the left channel and right channel signal so that more acoustic energy corresponding to the high frequency content of the one of the left channel signal and the right channel signal is radiated laterally than in other directions. The audiosystem may include a second directional array for radiating acoustic energy, comprising signal processing circuitry and more than one acoustic driver for radiating acoustic energy corresponding to the midrange content of the other of the left channel andright channel so that more acoustic energy corresponding to high frequency content of the other of the left channel and right channel signal is radiated laterally than in other directions; and a second passive directional device, for radiating acousticenergy corresponding to the midrange content of the other of the left channel and right channel so that more acoustic energy corresponding to high frequency content of the other of the left channel and right channel signal is radiated laterally than inother directions. The first directional array, the second directional array, the first passive directional device and the second passive directional device may be mounted in a common enclosure. The common enclosure may be a television cabinet. Thefirst directional array and the second directional array may include at least one common driver. The audio system of may further include a third directional array for radiating acoustic energy, comprising signal processing circuitry and more than oneacoustic driver for radiating acoustic energy corresponding to the midrange content of the center channel so that more acoustic energy corresponding to the center channel signal is radiated in a direction substantially orthogonal to the direction ofgreater radiation of the first directional array and the direction of greater radiation of the second directional array. The audio system may further include a non-directional high frequency acoustical device for radiating the high frequency content ofthe center channel. The non-directional high frequency device and the third directional array may positioned in a television on vertically opposite sides of a television screen. At least two of the first directional array, the second directional array,and the third directional array may include at least one acoustic driver in common. The direction substantially orthogonal to the direction of greater radiation of the first directional array and the direction of greater radiation of the seconddirectional array is substantially upward. The direction substantially orthogonal to the direction of greater radiation of the first directional array and the direction of greater radiation of the second directional array may be substantially toward anintended listening area. The omnidirectional device may include a waveguide. The waveguide may be mounted in a television cabinet. At least two of the first directional array, the second directional array, and the third directional array include morethan one acoustic driver in common. The first directional array, the second directional array, and the third directional array may include more than one acoustic driver in common. The audio system may be mounted in a television cabinet. Theomnidirectional acoustical device, the first directional array, the second directional array, the third directional array, the first passive directional device, and the second passive directional device each have an exit through which acoustic energy isradiated to the environment, and none of the exits may be in a front face of the television cabinet. The first passive directional device may include a slotted pipe type passive directional acoustic device comprising an acoustic driver, acousticallycoupled to a pipe to radiate acoustic energy into the pipe. The pipe may include an elongated opening along at least a portion of the length of the pipe; and acoustically resistive material in the opening through which pressure waves are radiated to theenvironment. The pressure waves characterized by a volume velocity. The pipe, the opening, and the acoustically resistive material may be configured so that the volume velocity is substantially constant along the length of the pipe.

In another aspect, a method for operating an audio system comprising at least a left channel, a right channel, and a center channel, includes radiating omnidirectionally acoustic energy corresponding to the low frequency content of the combinedleft channel, right channel, and center channel; radiating directionally, from a first directional array comprising signal processing circuitry and more than one acoustic driver, acoustic energy corresponding to the midrange content of the left channelso that more acoustic energy corresponding to the left channel signal is radiated leftwardly than in other directions; radiating directionally, from a second directional array comprising signal processing circuitry and more than one acoustic driver,acoustic energy corresponding to the midrange content of the right channel so that more acoustic energy corresponding to the right channel signal is radiated rightwardly than in other directions; radiating directionally, from a third directional arraycomprising signal processing circuitry and more than one acoustic driver, acoustic energy corresponding to the midrange content of the center channel so that more acoustic energy corresponding to the center channel signal is radiated in a directionsubstantially orthogonal to the direction of greater radiation of the first directional array and the direction of greater radiation of the second directional array; radiating directionally, from a first passive directional device, acoustic energycorresponding to the high frequency content of the left channel so that more acoustic energy is radiated leftwardly than other directions; and radiating directionally, from a second passive directional device, acoustic energy corresponding to the highfrequency content of the right channel so that more acoustic energy is radiated rightwardly than other directions. The method may further include radiating non-directionally the high the high frequency content of the center channel. Radiatingnon-directionally the high frequency content of the center channel may include radiating from a vertically opposite side of a television screen from the radiating directionally of the midrange content of the center channel. The radiatingomnidirectionally acoustic energy corresponding to the low frequency content of the combined left channel, right channel, and center channel may include radiating from a waveguide. 2.2.1. The radiating omnidirectionally may include radiating from awaveguide is mounted in a television cabinet. The directionally radiating in a direction substantially orthogonal to the direction of greater radiation of the first directional array and the direction of greater radiation of the second directional arraymay include radiating substantially upward. The directionally radiating in a direction substantially orthogonal to the direction of greater radiation of the first directional array and the direction of greater radiation of the second directional arraymay include radiating substantially toward an intended listening area. The radiating directionally from a first directional array, the radiating directionally from a second directional array, the radiating directionally from a third directional array,the radiating directionally from a first passive directional device and the radiating directionally from a second passive directional device may include radiating from a television cabinet. The radiating directionally from a first directional array, theradiating directionally from a second directional array, the radiating directionally from a third directional array, the radiating directionally from a first passive directional device and the radiating directionally from a second passive directionaldevice may include radiating from one of a side, a bottom, or a top of a television cabinet.

In another aspect, an audio system for a television may include a television cabinet; a slotted pipe type passive directional acoustic device that includes an acoustic driver, acoustically coupled to a pipe to radiate acoustic energy into thepipe. The pipe may include an elongated opening along at least a portion of the length of the pipe; and acoustically resistive material in the opening through which pressure waves are radiated to the environment. The pressure waves may be characterizedby a volume velocity. The pipe, the opening, and the acoustically resistive material may be configured so that the volume velocity is substantially constant along the length of the pipe. The passive directional acoustic device may be mounted in thetelevision cabinet to directionally radiate sound waves laterally from the television cabinet. the pipe may be at least one of bent or curved. The opening may be at least one of bent or curved along its length. The opening may be in a face that isbent or curved. The television cabinet may be tapered backwardly, and the passive directional acoustic device may be mounted so that a curved or bent wall of the slotted pipe type passive directional acoustic device is substantially parallel to the backand a side wall of the television cabinet. The opening may include two sections, a first section in a top face of the pipe and a second section in a side face of the pipe. The audio system for a television of claim 10.0, wherein the acoustic apparatusmay be for radiating the high frequency content of a left channel or a right channel laterally from the television. The passive directional acoustic device may be for radiating the left channel or right channel content above 2 kHz. The audio system mayfurther include a directional array for radiating midrange frequency content of the left channel or right channel laterally from the television. The audio system may further include a waveguide structure for radiating bass frequency content of the leftchannel or right channel; the other of the left channel or right channel; and a center channel. The cross sectional area of the pipe may decrease along the length of the pipe.

Other features, objects, and advantages will become apparent from the following detailed description, when read in connection with the following drawing, in which:

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWING

FIGS. 1A. 1C, and 1E are top diagrammatic views of an audio module mounted in a television;

FIGS. 1B and 1D are front diagrammatic views of the audio module mounted in a television;

FIG. 2 is a front diagrammatic view of the audio module, showing the location of the center channel speakers;

FIG. 3A is a block diagram of an audio system;

FIG. 3B is a block diagram showing an alternate configuration of some of the elements of the audio system of FIG. 3A;

FIG. 4A is a diagrammatic view of a low frequency device of the audio system;

FIG. 4B is an isometric drawing of an actual implementation of the audio system;

FIG. 5 is a diagrammatic view of the audio module;

FIGS. 6A-6D are diagrammatic views of the elements of the audio module used as directional arrays;

FIGS. 7A and 7B are diagrammatic views of a passive directional acoustic device;

FIG. 7C is an isometric view of an actual implementation of the passive directional device of FIGS. 7A and 7B; and

FIG. 8 is a diagrammatic view of a passive directional audio device, mounted in a television.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Though the elements of several views of the drawing may be shown and described as discrete elements in a block diagram and may be referred to as "circuitry", unless otherwise indicated, the elements may be implemented as one of, or a combinationof, analog circuitry, digital circuitry, or one or more microprocessors executing software instructions. The software instructions may include digital signal processing (DSP) instructions. Operations may be performed by analog circuitry or by amicroprocessor executing software that performs the mathematical or logical equivalent to the analog operation. Unless otherwise indicated, signal lines may be implemented as discrete analog or digital signal lines, as a single discrete digital signalline with appropriate signal processing to process separate streams of audio signals, or as elements of a wireless communication system. Some of the processes may be described in block diagrams. The activities that are performed in each block may beperformed by one element or by a plurality of elements, and may be separated in time. The elements that perform the activities of a block may be physically separated. One element may perform the activities of more than one block. Unless otherwiseindicated, audio signals or video signals or both may be encoded and transmitted in either digital or analog form; conventional digital-to-analog or analog-to-digital converters may not be shown in the figures. For simplicity of wording "radiatingacoustic energy corresponding to the audio signals in channel x" will be referred to as "radiating channel x." "Directional arrays", as used herein, refers to arrays that use a combination of signal processing and geometry, placement, and configurationof more than one acoustic driver to cause the radiation to be greater in some directions than in other directions. Directional arrays include interference arrays, such as described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,870,484 and U.S. Pat. No. 5,809,153. "Passivedirectional device", as used herein, refers to devices that do not use any signal processing, but rather use only mechanical or physical arrangements or devices to cause the radiation of wavelengths that are large (for example 2.times.) relative to thediameter of the radiating elements to be greater in some directions than in others. Passive directional devices could include acoustic lenses, horns, dipole radiators, or slotted pipe type directional devices shown below and in FIGS. 7A-7C and describedin the corresponding portions of the specification.

FIG. 1A shows a diagrammatic view of an audio module 10. The audio module 10 may be associated with, or built into, a television 12. The audio module radiates acoustic signals of some frequency ranges corresponding to a audio system includingat least a left channel, a right channel, and a center channel.

The left channel midrange (L.sub.M) frequency sound is radiated by a directional array so that more acoustic energy is radiated laterally leftward relative to a listening area than in other directions as indicated. The right channel midrange(R.sub.M) frequency sound is radiated by a directional array so that more acoustic energy is radiated laterally rightward than in other directions as indicated.

The left channel high (L.sub.H) frequency sound is radiated by a passive directional device so that more acoustic energy is radiated laterally leftward than in other directions as indicated. The right channel high (R.sub.H) frequency sound isradiated by a passive directional device so that more acoustic energy is radiated laterally rightward than in other directions as indicated.

Radiating the left and right channels directionally laterally causes more of radiation experienced by the listener to be indirect radiation than direct radiation or radiation of the left and right channels toward the listening area. Causingmore of the radiation to be indirect radiation results in a more spacious acoustic image and permits the radiation of the left and right channels from a device in the lateral middle of the listening area.

FIGS. 1B-1E show different implementations of the radiation pattern of the center channel.

In FIGS. 1B and 1C, the center channel midrange (C.sub.M) frequency sound is radiated by a directional array so that more energy is radiated in a direction substantially orthogonal to the directions of maximum radiation of the left and rightchannel midrange frequency sound than is radiated in other directions. The center channel high (C.sub.H) frequency sound is radiated directionally by a passive directional device so that more energy is radiated in a direction substantially orthogonal tothe directions of maximum radiation of the left and right channel midrange frequency sound than is radiated in other directions. In FIG. 1B, the direction of maximum radiation of the center channel midrange frequency sound and the high frequency soundis upward relative to the listening area. In FIG. 1C, the direction of maximum radiation the center channel midrange frequency sound and the high frequency sound is toward the listening area. In other implementations, the direction of maximum radiationof the center channel midrange frequency and the high frequency could be substantially downward. The direction of maximum radiation of the center channel midrange frequency sound and the direction of maximum radiation of the center channel highfrequency sound do not need to be the same direction; for example, the center channel midrange frequency sound could be radiated substantially upwardly, and the center channel high frequency sound could be radiated substantially toward the listeningarea. The low frequency device, which will be described below, may be mounted in a television cabinet 46.

In FIGS. 1D and 1E, the center channel midrange frequency sound is radiated by a directional array so that more energy is radiated in a direction substantially orthogonal to the directions of maximum radiation of the left and right channelmidrange frequency sound than is radiated in other directions. The center channel high frequency sound is radiated substantially omnidirectionally. In FIG. 1D, the direction of maximum radiation the center channel midrange frequency is upward relativeto the listening area. In FIG. 1E, the direction of maximum radiation the center channel midrange frequency sound is toward the listening area.

When implemented in a television, the center channel high frequency acoustical device may be vertically on the opposite side of the television screen from the center channel directional array to cause the acoustic image to be vertically centeredon the television screen. For example, as shown in FIG. 2, if the center channel directional array 44 is above the television screen 52, the center channel high frequency acoustical device 45 may be positioned below the television screen.

FIG. 3A is a block diagram showing some signal processing elements of the audio module 10 of FIGS. 1A-1E. The signal processing elements of FIG. 3A are parts of a three-way crossover system that separates the input channel into three frequencybands (hereinafter referred to as a bass frequency band, a midrange frequency band, and a high frequency band), none of which are substantially encompassed by any of the other frequency bands. The signal processing elements of FIG. 3A processes andradiates the three frequency bands differently.

The left channel signal L, the right channel signal R, and the center channel signal C are combined at signal summer 29 and low pass filtered by low pass filter 24 to provide a combined low frequency signal. The combined low frequency signal isradiated by a low frequency radiation device 26, such as a woofer or another acoustic device including low frequency augmentation elements such as ports, waveguides, or passive radiators. Alternatively, the left channel signal, the right channel signal,and the center channel signal may be low pass filtered, then combined before being radiated by the low frequency radiation device, as shown in FIG. 3B.

In FIG. 3A, the left channel signal is band pass filtered by band pass filter 28 and radiated directionally by left channel array 30. The left channel signal is high pass filtered by high pass filter 32 and radiated directionally (as indicatedby the arrow extending from element 34) by passive directional device 34.

The right channel signal is band pass filtered by band pass filter 28 and radiated directionally by right channel array 38 as shown in FIGS. 1A-1E. The right channel signal is high pass filtered by high pass filter 32 and radiated directionallyby passive directional device 42.

The center channel signal is band pass filtered by band pass filter 28 and radiated directionally by center channel array 44 as shown in FIGS. 1B-1E. The center channel signal is high pass filtered by high pass filter 32 and radiateddirectionally by a high frequency acoustical device 45 (which, as stated above may be directional or omnidirectional, as indicated by the dotted line arrow extending from element 45).

In one implementation, the break frequency of low pass filter 24 is 250 Hz, the pass band for band pass filter 28 is 250 Hz to 2.5 k Hz, and the break frequency for high pass filter 32 is 2 kHz.

In one implementation, the low frequency device 26 of FIG. 3A includes a waveguide structure as described in U.S. Published Pat. App. 2009-0214066 A1, incorporated herein by reference in its entirety. The waveguide structure is showndiagrammatically in FIG. 4A. An actual implementation of the low frequency device of FIG. 4A is shown in FIG. 4B. Reference numbers in FIG. 4B correspond to like numbered elements of FIG. 4A. The low frequency device may include a waveguide 412 drivenby six 2.25 inch acoustic drivers 410A-410D mounted near the closed end 411 of the waveguide. There are acoustic volumes 422A and 422B acoustically coupled to the waveguide at the locations 434A and 434B along the waveguide. The cross sectional area ofthe waveguide increases at the open end 418. The implementation of FIG. 4B has one dimension that is small relative to the other two dimensions and can be conveniently enclosed in a flat panel wide screen television cabinet, such as the cabinet 46 ofthe television 12.

Directional arrays 30, 38, and 44 are shown diagrammatically in FIG. 3A as having two acoustic drivers. In actual implementations, they may have more than two acoustic drivers and may share common acoustic drivers. In one implementation, theleft directional array 30, the right directional array 38, and the center directional array 44 are implemented as a multi-element directional array such as is described in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 12/716,309 filed Mar. 3, 2010 by Berardi, etal., incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

FIG. 5 shows an acoustic module that is suitable for the left channel array 30, the right channel array 38 of FIG. 3A, and the center channel array 44 (all shown in FIG. 3A). An audio module 212 includes a plurality, in this embodiment seven,of acoustic drivers 218-1-218-7. One of the acoustic drivers 218-4 is positioned near the lateral center of the module, near the top of the audio module. Three acoustic drivers 218-1-218-3 are positioned near the left extremity 220 of the audio moduleand are closely and non-uniformly spaced, so that distance l1.noteq.l2, l2.noteq.l3, l1.noteq.3. Additionally, the spacing may be arranged so that l1<l2<l3. Similarly, distance l6.noteq.l5, l5.noteq.l4, l6.noteq.4. Additionally, the spacing maybe arranged so that l6<l5<l4. In one implementation, l1=l6=55 mm, l2=l5=110 mm, and l3=l4=255 mm. The left channel array 30, the right channel array 38, and the center channel array 44 of FIG. 3A each include subsets of the seven acoustic drivers218-1-218-7.

The directional radiation patterns of the midrange frequency bands of FIGS. 1A-1E are accomplished by interference type directional arrays consisting of subsets of the acoustic drivers 218-1-218-7. Interference type directional arrays arediscussed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,870,484 and U.S. Pat. No. 5,809,153. At frequencies at which the individual acoustic drivers radiate substantially omnidirectionally (for example frequencies with corresponding wavelengths that are more than twice thediameter of the radiating surface of the acoustic drivers), radiation from each of the acoustic drivers interferes destructively or non-destructively with radiation from each of the other acoustic drivers. The combined effect of the destructive andnon-destructive interference is that the radiation is some directions is significantly less, for example, -14 dB, relative to the maximum radiation in any direction. The directions at which the radiation is significantly less than the maximum radiationin any direction may be referred to as "null directions". Causing more radiation experienced by a listener to be indirect radiation is accomplished by causing the direction between the audio module and the listener to be a null direction and so thatmore radiation is directed laterally relative to the listener.

FIG. 6A shows a diagrammatic view of audio module 212, showing the configuration of directional arrays of the audio module. The audio module is used to radiate the channels of a multi-channel audio signal source 222. Typically, a multi-channelaudio signal source for use with a television has at least a left (L), right (R), and Center (C) channel. In FIG. 6A, the left channel array 30 includes acoustic drivers 218-1, 218-2, 218-3, 218-4, and 218-5. The acoustic drivers 218-1-218-5 arecoupled to the left channel signal source 238 by signal processing circuitry 224-1-224-5, respectively that apply signal processing represented by transfer function H.sub.1L(z)-H.sub.5L(z), respectively. The effect of the transfer functionsH.sub.1L(z)-H.sub.5L(z) on the left channel audio signal may include one or more of phase shift, time delay, polarity inversion, and others. Transfer functions H.sub.1L(z)-H.sub.5L(z) are typically implemented as digital filters, but may be implementedwith equivalent analog devices.

In operation, the left channel signal L, as modified by the transfer functions H.sub.1L(z)-H.sub.5L(z) is transduced to acoustic energy by the acoustic drivers 218-1-218-5. The radiation from the acoustic drivers interferes destructively andnon-destructively to result in a desired directional radiation pattern. To achieve a spacious stereo image, the left array 232 directs radiation laterally toward the left boundary of the room as indicated by arrow 213 and cancels radiation toward thelistener. The use of digital filters to apply transfer functions to create directional interference arrays is described, for example, in Boone, et al., Design of a Highly Directional Endfire Loudspeaker Array, J. Audio Eng. Soc., Vol 57. The conceptis also discussed with regard to microphones van der Wal et al., Design of Logarithmically Spaced Constant Directivity--Directivity Transducer Arrays, J. Audio Eng. Soc., Vol. 44, No. 6, June 1996 (also discussed with regard to loudspeakers), and inWard, et al., Theory and design of broadband sensor arrays with frequency invariant far-field beam patterns, J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 97 (2), February 1995. Mathematically, directional microphone array concepts may generally be applied to loudspeakers.

Similarly, in FIG. 6B, the right channel array 38 includes acoustic drivers 218-3, 218-4, 218-5, 218-6, and 218-7. The acoustic drivers 218-3-218-7 are coupled to the right channel signal source 240 and to signal processing circuitry224-3-224-7, respectively that apply signal processing represented by transfer function H.sub.3R(z)-H.sub.7R(z), respectively. The effect of the transfer functions H.sub.3R(z)-H.sub.7R(z) may include one or more of phase shift, time delay, polarityinversion, and others. Transfer functions H.sub.3R(z)-H.sub.7R(z) are typically implemented as digital filters, but may be implemented with equivalent analog devices.

In operation, the right channel signal R, as modified by the transfer functions H.sub.3R(z)-H.sub.7R(z) is transduced to acoustic energy by the acoustic drivers 218-3-218-7. The radiation from the acoustic drivers interferes destructively andnon-destructively to result in a desired directional radiation pattern. To achieve a spacious stereo image, the right array 234 directs radiation laterally toward the right boundary of the room as indicated by arrow 215 and cancels radiation toward thelistener.

In FIG. 6C, the center channel array 44 includes acoustic drivers 218-2, 218-3, 218-4, 218-5, and 218-6. The acoustic drivers 218-2-218-6 are coupled to the center channel signal source 242 by signal processing circuitry 224-2-224-6,respectively that apply signal processing represented by transfer function H.sub.2C(z)-H.sub.6C(z), respectively. The effect of the transfer functions H.sub.2C(z)-H.sub.6C(z) may include one or more of phase shift, time delay, polarity inversion, andothers. Transfer functions H.sub.2C(z)-H.sub.6C(z) are typically implemented as digital filters, but may be implemented with equivalent analog devices.

In operation, the center channel signal C, as modified by the transfer functions H.sub.2C(z)-H.sub.6C(z) is transduced to acoustic energy by the acoustic drivers 218-2-218-6. The radiation from the acoustic drivers interferes destructively andnon-destructively to result in a desired directional radiation pattern.

An alternative configuration for the center channel array 44 is shown in FIG. 6D, in which the center channel array 44 includes acoustic drivers 218-1, 218-3, 218-4, 218-5, and 218-7. The acoustic drivers 218-1, 218-3-218-5, and 218-7 arecoupled to the center channel signal source 242 by signal processing circuitry 224-1, 224-3-224-5, and 224-7, respectively that apply signal processing represented by transfer function H.sub.1C(z), H.sub.3C(z)-H.sub.5C(z), and H.sub.7C(z), respectively. The effect of the transfer functions H.sub.1C(z), H.sub.3C(z)-H.sub.5C(z)), and H.sub.7C(z), may include one or more of phase shift, time delay, polarity inversion, and others. Transfer functions H.sub.1C(z), H.sub.3C(z)-H.sub.5C(z)), and H.sub.7C(z)are typically implemented as digital filters, but may be implemented with equivalent analog devices.

In operation, the center channel signal C, as modified by the transfer functions H.sub.1C(z), H.sub.3C(z)-H.sub.5C(z)), and H.sub.7C(z) is transduced to acoustic energy by the acoustic drivers 218-1, 218-3-218-5, and 218-7. The radiation fromthe acoustic drivers interferes destructively and non-destructively to result in a desired directional radiation pattern.

The center channel array 44 of FIGS. 6C and 6D may direct radiation upward, as indicated by arrow 217 and in some implementations slightly backward and cancels radiation toward the listener, or in other implementations may direct radiationtoward the listening area.

Other types of directional array are appropriate for use as directional arrays 30, 38, and 44. For example, each of the arrays may have as few as two acoustic drivers, without any acoustic drivers shared by arrays.

In one implementation, the left passive directional device 34 and the right passive directional device 42 of FIG. 3A are implemented as shown diagrammatically in FIGS. 7A and 7B with an actual example (without the acoustic driver) in FIG. 7C. The passive directional devices of FIGS. 7A and 7B operate according to the principles described in U.S. Published Pat. App. 2009-0274329 A1, incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

The passive directional device 310 of FIG. 7A-7C includes a rectangular pipe 316 with an acoustic driver 314 mounted in one end. The pipe tapers from the end in which the acoustic driver 314 is mounted to the other end so that thecross-sectional area at the other end is substantially zero. A lengthwise slot 318 that runs substantially the length of the pipe is covered with acoustically resistive material 320, such as unsintered stainless steel wire cloth, 165.times.800 plaintwill Dutch weave. The dimensions and characteristics of the pipe, the slot, and the acoustically resistive material are set so that the volume velocity is substantially constant along the length of the pipe.

In the actual implementation of FIG. 7C, one lengthwise section 354 of the rectangular pipe is bent at a 45 degree angle to a second section 352. The slot 318 of FIG. 7A is divided into two sections, one section 318A of the slot in the sideface 356 of first section 354 of the pipe and a second section of the slot 318B in the top face 358 in the second section 352 of the pipe.

The implementation of the slotted pipe type directional loudspeaker of FIG. 7B is particularly advantageous in some situations. FIG. 8 shows a curved or bent slotted pipe type directional radiator 110 in a television cabinet 112. The dottedlines represent the side and back of the television cabinet 112, viewed from the top. For cosmetic or other reasons, the back of the cabinet is tapered inwardly, so that the back of the cabinet is narrower than the front. A slotted pipe typedirectional radiator is positioned in the cabinet so that the curve or bend generally follows the tapering of the cabinet, or in other words so that the curved or slanted wall of the slotted pipe type directional radiator is substantially parallel withthe back and side of the television cabinet. The directional radiator may radiate through an opening in the side of the cabinet, which may, for example, be a louvered opening. The direction of strongest radiation of the directional loudspeaker isgenerally sideward and slightly forward as indicated by arrow 62, which is desirable for use as passive directional devices such as devices 32 and 42 of FIG. 3A.

Other types of passive directional devices may be appropriate for passive directional devices 32 and 42, for example, horns, lenses or the like.

Using passive directional devices for high frequencies is advantageous because it provides desired directionality without requiring directional arrays. Designing directional arrays that work effectively at the short wavelengths corresponding tohigh frequencies is difficult. At frequencies with corresponding wavelengths that approach the diameter of the radiating elements, the radiating elements themselves may become directional.

Numerous uses of and departures from the specific apparatus and techniques disclosed herein may be made without departing from the inventive concepts. Consequently, the invention is to be construed as embracing each and every novel feature andnovel combination of features disclosed herein and limited only by the spirit and scope of the appended claims.

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